TechInPacific – MiBank, the Central Bank-licensed and regulated microfinance in Papua New Guinea, has been running the Fresh Produce Project in Namatanai District, Niu Ireland Province. The project is the pioneer project that already started in November. It aims at providing digital payments for farmers in the district, particularly female farmers. Empowering women through financial literacy training has always been one of the key focus areas of the institution.
On this project, MiBank acts as a super-agent through the Namatanai Advancement Limited (NAL). MiBank, through its representatives consists of four, including Jack Vaki, the MCO of Lihir; Mathew Boku, the MCO of Kokopo; Steven Ereman, the Agent Networking Supervisor; and Project Owner and Manager DFS. The project was under the initiative of NTI MP Hon. Walter David Schnaubelt.
Through the representatives and project, MiBank has opened 205 accounts at Kilak, Matalai LLG in Namatanai. The accounts opening was also followed by financial literacy training for supervisors who will be responsible for the Fresh Produce Project. The training took place in two days and in partnership with Newcrest Mine Ltd, NCS Ltd., WFA Inc., and Namatanai Advancement Ltd.
The first session of the training started with the Fresh Produce Post Harvesting Agricultural training conducted by the District’s Department of Primary Industry (DPI).
The MiBank representatives set up a super-agent at the Fresh Produce Buying Point in the district for two weeks. They also had opened more than 500 accounts in six different locations, including Panaras, Messi, Dampet villages (West Coast Central), Konos (East Coast Central), Namatanai, and Kilak (Matalai LLG).
Apart from MiBank Super Agent and Namatanai Advancement Limited (NAL), another digital payment was also launched in Namatanai, such as the WFA Buying Point. The launching of three different digital payments services was a partnership project as well as the implementation of the pioneer project, Stretim Ai Dua Pastaim.